Mission has 500 food cards

In 2010, people started waiting in line the afternoon before Star Gospel Mission handed out $50 food cards. Officials said as many as 500 people had to be turned away last year after the cards ran out.

ANDY PARAS

Hundreds of people are expected to be outside the Star Gospel Mission at 474 Meeting St. this morning waiting for a $50 food card.

The doors open at 7:30 a.m., but scores of people camp outside the building all night each year to get a place in line.

The mission planned to give out 500 cards this morning and let local pastors distribute another 400 or 500 cards as they see fit.

The cards can be used to buy food at Piggly Wiggly stores. They can’t be used to buy tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets. Recipients must be at least 25 years old.

The money comes from The Post and Courier’s Good Cheer Fund, which is replenished through donations from readers each December. The Good Cheer Fund also gives to other local charities during the Christmas season.